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How IT departments can work to achieve increased circularity

There has for some time been a shortage of metals and semiconductors, both in Sweden and in countries outside the EU. As resources are required to work more sustainably, the EU Commission believes that the climate goals are now under threat. To contribute to a more sustainable future, businesses need to reassess their resource consumption and work in a more circular way.

Challenges and shortages

Metals such as lithium and cobalt are important sources for our electrically powered vehicles and batteries, and they are already in short supply. Semiconductors are also a prerequisite for the ability to continue driving digitalisation, as they constitute the most important group of components for electronic devices. When it comes to semiconductors, it is the financial restrictions faced by those placing orders that are putting a stop to manufacturing. The production of semiconductors is not expected to catch up with demand until 2026, but businesses and IT departments should be upscaling work on circularity even now.

Many businesses are now aware of the challenges in the external environment, and many major companies have a goal of becoming totally circular by 2030. But work is proceeding slowly, and a transition to even more sustainable organisations needs to take place right now. To make this possible, your company’s IT resources need to support the business to make the transition to a more circular economy.

Draw up a circular business model
The data-driven work method means that more and more organisations have drawn up a circular business model as a tool to help them become more circular within their operations. The model becomes a guide describing how to work towards shared goals, and contributes to better analyses of the businesses’ environmental impact. Reviewing which activities make the biggest contribution to the environmental impact within the organisations enables your company to plan where and how you should allocate your resources, resulting in a procedure for identifying more circular alternatives.

Optimise your business’s production and consumption

Circularity is to a large extent about utilising existing resources as far as possible and reusing rather than recycling. Older hardware can be reused in many cases, and support from your business’s IT department is important in this respect. By looking at the business’s production costs and resource consumption, you create better conditions for a circular economy. Tangible measures to take might include the IT department implementing smart maintenance in the production chain and producing an inventory of the business’s products. This will enable you to reduce energy consumption and save resources. It is important that the IT department both looks at its own resource consumption and acts as a driving force to enable a sustainable transition throughout the business. 

System support and logistical solutions

To support the business in the green transition, your business’s IT department can help to produce the system support that contributes to circularity. This may involve big or small investments in the form of recycling systems or IoT-based tools that extend the useful life of products and systems. In the field of retail, central warehouses have been automated in order to both rationalise and work more sustainably. Several businesses are also offering circular e-commerce, and have been able to use the right logistical solutions to drive the development towards a greener organisation.

Review your IT service provider

To achieve the climate goals, it is also a good idea to look within the business and review which service provider supplies your servers and data. A provider that uses sustainable, renewable energy makes it easier for your organisation to take control over where it comes from, which ultimately results in a more sustainable business.

As an IT manager, it is important that you have the business on board when it comes to changes and initiatives. This requires close collaboration with stakeholders and employees. Nordlo is there to help you on your journey to a more circular business.

Would you like to read more about our sustainability work and our sustainable data centres? Click here for our sustainability report and here for sustainable data centres.

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